I started my blog in January 2016 and from the start, I knew I wanted to sell an online course. January 2017 rolled around and I still hadn’t created that course. As someone who writes about productivity and time management, this was obviously embarrassing! But beyond that, what had happened? Why was it so hard for me to reach my big blogging goal?
Why it’s hard to reach your blogging goals
Here are three reasons why I struggled to reach my big blogging goal (and why you might be struggling to stay accountable, too):
1. You’re the boss.
Yes, it’s awesome to be the boss. But being the boss can also sabotage your productivity. If you’re a solo blogger or business owner, no one is looking over your shoulder and telling you what to do, or how to do it, or when to do it.
You have to learn how to manage yourself, almost like you’re your own employee. For most of us, managing our time and our energy levels aren’t skills that we’ve consciously learned about or had to develop.
Plus, as the only person in the business, you have to do all the things. It can be so hard to keep all the balls in the air. In my case, it meant that my big goal constantly got pushed back because smaller, more immediate things kept taking priority.
If you feel like you’re suffering from the same problem, check out my free 5-day Master Time Management mini course for bloggers. In this free course, I’ll help you clarify your goal and conquer your to do list.
2. There are no consequences for inaction.
The status quo is pretty comfortable. It’s easy to post weekly on your blog, market each blog post on social media and never move beyond that. You’ll never make money selling a product, but you’ll also never get fired or lose money. Because it’s so easy to stick to the status quo, many bloggers never move beyond it.
But if your big goal is to sell a product or a course, offer services, or start freelancing, you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone. And that’s hard!
3. Your mindset can hold you back.
For me, mindset was the biggest thing preventing me from reaching my goal. I was absolutely terrified of launching a product that no one would buy. So instead of dealing with my fear, I kept procrastinating and telling myself I wasn’t ready.
I didn’t want to launch until I felt 100% in control and 100% confident that I had a viable product. Well…it turns out, if you want to run a business, you’re never going feel 100% in control or 100% confident. Sometimes that makes blogging feel exciting. You get to learn new things and experiment with new strategies.
Sometimes the uncertainty makes blogging feel overwhelming or a big goal seem insurmountable. That’s how I felt about launching my course. It felt like such a big project with so many moving parts that I didn’t know how to begin. So I just never did.
If you’re struggling to break a big project down into smaller parts so that it feels manageable, check out Planning for Success, my planning course for bloggers.
Now that we’ve covered why it’s so dang hard to reach your blogging goals, let me share some solutions.
5 ways to reach your blogging goals faster
1. Make it public.
If you tell people about your goal, you’re more likely to stick to it. You’ve said the goal out loud, you’ve made it real, so you don’t want to disappoint yourself or others.
For me, this has been incredibly effective. I started writing blog income reports in March, and I included my monthly goals. In my March report, I wrote that I wanted to do a giveaway with all my favorite blogging resources and planners.
Hosting a giveaway was scary for me. I had to ask other bloggers and even big companies, like BoardBooster, to share a prize. I had to figure out the tech for hosting a giveaway. If I hadn’t shared this goal publicly in my blog post and with my email list, there’s no way I would have followed through.
You don’t need to have blog income to take advantage of this strategy. When Elna Cain of TwinsMommy started her blog, she published growth reports with her goals and her results. As a reader, I loved learning how Elna was growing her traffic, her Pinterest account, and her email list.
Even when things aren’t going well or you didn’t reach your goals, these type of posts can benefit you and your readers. Angie Gensler’s growth report for February is a great example. She writes about 5 mistakes she made with her blog and analyzes why things went wrong. This kind of reflection is so important for helping you reach your goals, plus it’s inspiring for readers!
If you’re not ready to get so public with your goals, sign up for my master time management mini course. In the first lesson, I’ll ask you to hit reply and tell me you goal. Even doing something small and simple like this helps you stay accountable.
2. Make it a priority
Many of us fail to reach our goals because we never make the goal a priority. This happened to me. I said I wanted to create a course, but I never made time in my schedule to research my course topic, create the course, or launch. Hence, it never got done.
Make time in your schedule to work towards your goal. To see how I schedule my time to reach my goals faster, check out this blog post.
In order to make your goal a priority, you may have to say no to other things. Jen Snyder of Women Winning Online is a great example of how effective it can be to say, “No.” When she was growing her email list, she spent all of her time promoting her lead magnet in Facebook groups. She didn’t get on Pinterest. She didn’t post on her blog. She used her limited time to do the one action that would help her reach her goal as quickly as possible. The results? Jen added 500 people to her email list in just two months.
3. Know your why
Lots of people jump on the blogging band wagon and don’t understand why they are working towards a specific goal. If you’re trying to grow your blog traffic or your Facebook fan page because other bloggers are doing it, then you need to step back and figure out your why.
What is your deep inner reason for wanting to achieve a goal? Understanding your why will help you stay motivated when things get tough.
If you’re trying to grow your blog traffic because that’s what other bloggers say you should do, then you’re going to have a hard time sticking to that goal months and months later when your traffic is still a trickle.
But if you’re growing your traffic because you want to sell advertising on your blog so that you don’t have to go back to a 9-5 job, it’s a whole different ball game. You’re going to be a lot more committed to your goal because you know why it’s so important to you to achieve it.
4. Find an accountability partner
I suck at going to the gym. I hate getting sweaty, and I hate using my limited free time to exercise when I could be doing something way more fun, like reading People magazine on my couch or watching Netflix, also on my couch.
Because I know that I’ll never go to the gym on my own, I enlisted my far more motivated friend Kayla to be an accountability partner. We made a plan to meet at the gym 5 days a week at 1 pm. Because I knew Kayla would be there waiting for me, I showed up every single day. Kayla has been traveling for the past month, so we put our gym sessions on hold. And what do you know…I haven’t been back to the gym once since she left!
Some of us really need to feel accountable to another person if we want to achieve our goals. We perform better because we know someone else is depending on us. If you’re looking for a blogging accountability partner, write a really specific “ad” to share in blogging Facebook groups. The more specific you can be, the more likely it is that you’ll find the perfect accountability partner. I co-host a Facebook group called Blogger Insights, and you are welcome to join and look for an accountability partner there.
5. Pay for something.
Buy a course or tool, pay for a coach, or invest with cold hard cash and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
For me, paying for something is the best way to stay accountable. I hate wasting money, so you better believe I will take action on any course or ebook I purchase.
Many of my clients have had the same experience. Cath from This Mama Learns had vague intentions of launching a course someday. While she was working through Planning for Success, she realized that she was ready to create a course and that it would be a faster way to earn money through her blog. Within weeks of taking Planning for Success, Cath had started creating her course, and she’s now preparing to launch!
Jaime of OrangeMamaLikes is passionate about planning and organizing, and for years she dreamed of starting her own business. Even though she’s a planning ninja, she signed up for Planning for Success to give her that finally push to launch her blog. No joke, within a week of finishing the course, she had launched!
We all need a little push sometimes, to take the next step, to get out of our comfort zones, to reach our big goals.
If you’re ready to take action on your dreams, then check out Planning for Success. It might be just the push you need!